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April 18, 1986 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

36 Friday, April 18, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

NEWS

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A

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41

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1986

5746

'

Calling For A Truce

Continued from preceding page

head on." He said that the cur-
rent crisis of family identity and
Jewish status had come to a
head now because of the grow-
ing power of the Orthodox in Is-
rael and the U.S. He faulted lay
leaders who secretly feel that
the Orthodox are "more authen-
tic" and therefore lavish support
on them.
Cohen called for collecting an
extensive data base to establish
the acts of the Jewish condition
and on the true numbers of
Jews on contested status. He
suggested the creation of a joint
commission made up of repre-
sentatives of all branches of
Judaism, including the secular,
to explore the new facts of
'Jewish life and their implica-
tions for the tradition. "To in-
sure Jewish survival beyond the
year 2000, he said, "there must
be a renewal of commitment to
Jewish values, not just to the
Jewish people.
Elie Wiesel, the noted author
and •Holocuast historian, made
his keynote address a plea for
understanding and tolerance,
urging each movement to be
critical of itself and compassion-
ate toward the others. He voiced
his concern for growing religious
divisiveness. and fanatacism,
and expressed his fear that the
Jewish people were "entering an
era of gratuitous hatred."
Through joint scholarship and
learning, he said, "all branches
can come together and discuss
the urgent issues of our times."
The last word in the two-day
conference went to Rabbi Yitz
Greenberg, who organized it and
whose articles and speeches on
the current schism were the
motivating force behind it.
Greenberg went beyond the de-
nominational leaders, calling on
the Orthodox to be open to reli-
gious pluralism and accepting of
the legitimacy of the other
branches. He charged that the .
present state of intra-Jewiih,
dialogue is less developed than
the Jewish-Christian dialogue of
50 years ago, noting that the
Jewish community now spends
$10 million a year on Jewish-
Christian, but precious little on
dialogue between Jews. "This
shows an unhealthy lack of
self-respect for Jewish-
priorities," he said in calling for
major expansion of intra-Jewish

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dialogue at the scholarly, rab-
binic and lay levels.
Greenberg called on all Jews
to develop a "dual loyalty" —
both to his or her own denomi-
nation and to the idea of Clal
Yisrael, the Jewish People.
"Each denomination can be
strengthened by the other," he
said. "The non-Orthodox can
learn discipline and observance
from the Orthodox, while the
Orthodox can learn from the
openness and commitment of the
liberal groups, thus making
each group more competent to
deal with the vast majority of
unaffiliated American Jews. By
ignoring and sniping at each
other, no group grows."
Greenberg said he believes
that the modern or centrist Or-
thodox movement is a key
bridge in this effort and he feels
there have been "significant re-
verberations" within that com-
munity of a positive nature.
Greenberg said that his
organization is committed to
continuing its efforts to achieve
unity within Jewish life, but he
would welcome the 'involvement
of other Jewish organizations as
well in the dialogue.
Dialogue, he noted, is not
negotiation. It is 'not seeking to
swap patrilineal descent for ac-
cepting Reform conversions, or
women rabbis for a community
Bet Din. It is, rather, the con-
cept of Jews of different beliefs
listening to one another and de-
veloping techniques to help heal
the sickness that is threatening
the Jewish community.
Herbert Silverman of Oak
Park, who attended the CLAL
conference as a private indi-
vidual, said he came away from
the meeting feeling "very posit-
ive" about what he had heard.
"Everyone was very sharing. I
think something good will
come."
Silverman called the confer-
ence "intellectually stimulating"
and said there was an effort by
those involved to reach out.
"Each one tried to bury their
ego and 'hold their hand out to
the possibility to make cora-
promises." Other Detroiters who
attended the conference were
Rabbi Emeritus Richard Hertz
of Temple Beth El Mr. and Mrs.
Paul Borman and Mr. and Mrs.
Morris Baker of West Bloom-
field.

Measure Of Amity Marks
Communal Forum On Unity

Staff Report'

In an atmosphere of amity,
two rabbis, one Orthodox, the
other Reform, urged their co-
religionists to work toward end-
ing •a grOwing chasm between
tradtional and non-traditional
Jews.
Speakineat a *rum Monday
sponsored, by 'the Midrasha-
College of Jewish Studies at the
main United Hebrew Schools
Building, Rabbi Haskel Looks-
tem appealed to his audience of
about. 300 to mave toward a sp.:

tem of compromise to end the.
divisiveness between Jewry's
denominations.
Joining Lookstein on the dais,
former Detroiter Rabbi Daniel
Syme said the Jewish future
demands the mutual respect of
Jews for each other.
"Mutual Jewish respect and
cooperation must be restored.
The Jewish future, requires it
and the Jewish people — you —
must demand it."
Looksteiri wesident of the

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